Thursday, November 1, 2012
Five Storylines: Washington-Cal
By Mason Kelley
SEATTLE -- Here are five storylines as Washington prepares for its Friday night matchup at Cal:
Steve Sarkisian will need to have his team ready to play on a short week, while Keith Price needs to limit his turnovers against Cal this Friday.
1. Tosh Lupoi heads home: While there has been plenty of talk about Lupoi’s homecoming, Washington’s ace recruiter and defensive line coach didn’t make much of his upcoming trip to coach against the Golden Bears. In fact, the former player and coach at Cal said he hadn’t “even really thought about it.”
Lupoi isn’t the only coach in the program who went from Cal to Washington in the offseason. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Eric Keisau is also making a return trip to Berkeley, Calif., after being hired away from the Golden Bears.
2. Turning the tide on the road: Through three road games this season, Washington has been outscored 145-41. The Huskies' defense has allowed at least 41 points in each game -- giving up an average of 489 yards per game -- while the offense has yet to score more than 21. Washington just hasn’t been able to execute on the road the way it has at CenturyLink Field.
When asked about the program’s road woes, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox made a reference to the movie "Hoosiers."
“You guys have seen Hoosiers, right?” Wilcox asked the media Tuesday. “When they go measure the hoop? It’s the same thing. We’ve got to execute better. It's not the road. It's not the plane ride. We've got to execute better."
3. Progress from Price: Washington is still looking to break the 21-point barrier against an FBS opponent. To do that, the Huskies need Keith Price to build on last week’s effort. After turning the ball over 10 times in three games, the quarterback turned it over just once during the Huskies’ win over Oregon State.
If he can continue to limit his turnovers, Washington’s offense can get untracked and help secure an elusive road win.
4. Short week: Earlier this season, when Washington played Stanford on a Thursday, the Huskies were coming off a bye week. The program had plenty of time to prepare for the Cardinal. This week, though, Washington faces an abbreviated week of work, getting one less day to prepare for the Golden Bears. The last time the Huskies played a pair of games separated by six days or fewer was 1944.
5. Friday Night Lights: Northern California has been a fertile recruiting region for Washington. Ordinarily, with a Saturday game, the coaching staff would be able to mix some recruiting into the weekend’s schedule.
However, a Friday night game hampers the Huskies' ability to get out and see prospects. With a short week, the focus has been on picking up their fifth win of the season, leaving little time to scout recruits.